1. I see the Bible is a collection of documents written by ancient Jews over many generations, and ostensibly no more free from error or worthy of attention than any other ancient documents.
2. I read the documents and see that they coalesce in meaning around Jesus of Nazareth. The NT claim that He is the figure promised in various ways throughout the OT strikes me at first as plausible, then as credible, and ultimately as persuasive. I accept that He is indeed Lord and vow to serve Him as such.
3. I see that Jesus regarded the OT as the word of God, and therefore worthy of appropriate devotion. I take that as my cue to do the same.
4. Given that the NT writers claim to speak in Jesus’ name, I give their writings the same respect.
Thus I don’t need the Bible to be the word of God in order to believe that Jesus is Lord. However, believing in Jesus as Lord does lead me to believe that the Bible is the word of God.
That said, I do not go around telling scientists what theories they can hold or what they can and can’t call facts. I’m not a scientist and the Bible is not a book of science. A problem only arises when scientists – or, more broadly speaking, modern culture – tells me what is and isn’t true in the Bible. I refuse to cede that authority to them.
Of course, the threat of modern culture is that I won’t be be considered intellectually respectable if I maintain this view. However, since my Lord didn’t compromise His faith in the truth for the sake of preserving intellectual respectablity, who am I to try to maintain intellectual respectability?